When a homeless woman quietly and politely asked permission to eat leftover food that was destined for the garbage bin, her pleas were ignored until something wonderful happened.
She Just Wanted To Eat
Carmen Mendez was eating at a Raising Cane’s fast food restaurant in California when she noticed a homeless woman asking fellow diners if she could eat their leftovers. They completely ignored her and purposely tossed their uneaten food in the trash bin right before her eyes.
As Carmen noted on her Facebook profile:
“Not one person said yes, they all ignored her and threw it away, it broke my heart.”
This traumatic experience left the woman feeling hurt and still very hungry.
It’s Not A Sin To Be In Need
Being homeless is not a sin. But many people treat the homeless as if they’ve personally done the world a great deal of wrong. All judgement’s aside, this homeless lady just wanted some food to keep the hunger at bay and survive another day.
Thankfully, Carmen had been volunteering with the homeless for many years, and knew their struggles were real, whether due to unlucky circumstances, addictions, or mental illness.
“They don’t repulse me or make me sick to my stomach. I hold them all with so much love.”
And it was Carmen’s love that began the prelude to this fateful night.
The Face Of An Angel
The face of hope is sometimes disguised, but this homeless woman would soon discover it waiting for her within Carmen’s generous soul.
A Withered Chicken Finger And Five Lonely Fries
Carmen was sad knowing that the poor woman went through rejection all night while searching for a warm meal. She told her boyfriend that if she saw the woman again, she would definitely give her their leftovers. Carmen anxiously scanned the restaurant as she was getting ready to leave.
“As I was gonna throw away my one leftover chicken strip and like 5 fries I heard a very quite voice ask me if I had anything left.”
She happily gave the woman her leftovers, but something still didn’t feel quite right.
She Deserved Better
Carmen felt like a horrible human being for feeding the woman her meager leftovers.
“So I bought her a whole meal. She deserved a hot meal.”
As Carmen was ordering the meal, she could see the disgust that customers directed toward the homeless woman for daring to sit down in a restaurant. But Carmen made sure the wait staff did not toss her out as the meal was being prepared.
The Tears She Shed Were Felt Deep
When Carmen surprised the woman with the fresh and hot meal, she didn’t know that her boyfriend Fred had captured the heartfelt moment. You can almost feel the thanks the homeless woman is giving to Carmen in the hug captured by Fred.
“The look on her face said it all. I have never felt something like this…pure, real gratitude.”
It is a moment Carmen says she will never, ever forget. I’m sure the homeless woman will always remember this moment as well. Carmen’s original Facebook post, with Fred’s touching photo, is provided below:
I debated posting this picture but considering that today many of us are gonna be thankful for what we have and are…
Raising Cane’s To The Rescue
As a bonus happy ending to this story, Raising Cane’s in Costa Mesa offered an generous donation to the homeless community. With a huge stack of gift cards, Carmen is now able to give the gift of a hot meal to those in need. But she’s not going to let the opportunity to interact with the homeless end there.
“With these gift cards not only will I be able to pass them out so they can have a meal I will also be able to talk to them and see what else they need..help them find a local shelter if they are willing to accept that help.”
With her experience over the years working with the homeless, I’m sure they’ll gladly accept Carmen’s help.
Show Your Generosity
As this story shows, it doesn’t hurt to think twice the next time you judge a homeless person. An act of kindness goes a long way in helping those who aren’t always able to help themselves.